Ant Classification

Ants, and other organisms, are classified into what is called a taxonomic hierarchy. Each level of classification is called a taxon. Organisms within each taxon are more closely related to each other than those within the previous taxon. Starting with the highest taxonomic category and going down you will find that the classification gets more specific.  Most taxa are further divided into sub- and supra-categories but we only present one, the sub-family, in the examples below.

 Common name

Taxon

Red Imported Fire Ant 

Kingdom Animalia: Examples - mollusks, worms, arthropods, fish, birds, reptiles, mammals. 
Phylum Arthropoda: Examples - crabs, shrimp, insects, spiders, scorpions, lobsters, ticks, mites, centipedes. 
Class Insecta: Examples - ants, beetles, flies, grasshoppers, butterflies, bees, wasps, dragonflies, termites, cicadas, aphids, fleas.
Order Hymenoptera: Examples - bees, wasps, ants.
Family Formicidae: ants

   Sub-family

Myrmicinae: Examples - Acrobat ant, Bicolored trailing ant, Big-headed ant. 
Genus* Solenopsis: Examples - Red imported fire ant, Black imported fire ant, Southern fire ant.
Species*

Solenopsis invicta

* When written, genus and species names should always be italicized or underlined.

 


Here is a second example:

 

 Common name

Taxon

Ghost Ant

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Order Hymenoptera
Family Formicidae

   Sub-family

Dolichoderinae: Examples - Argentine ant, Pyramid ant, White-footed ant.
Genus Tapinoma: Examples - Ghost ant, Odorous house ant, Tapinoma erraticum**, Tapinoma nigerrimum**.
Species

Tapinoma melanocephalum

** Many species do not have a common name.